Consumers love these powerful “phat” smartphones with the crisp huge screens. They carry these devices with them everywhere so that they could remain connected to the people they love, continually have access to the information they crave and seamlessly share discoveries and bits of themselves throughout the day.
What’s missing here?
The market needs a smartwatch with a very small screen that only works while in proximity to the smartphone they already carry around with them. This gizmo will attempt to accomplish the same tasks as the ubiquitous smarthphone just not as efficiently. Oh and the price point will be about the same.
In its infancy stage the smartwatch is a dud. Granted the major players, a la Apple and Google, haven’t showed their full hands quite yet but so far the best options on the market amount to nothing more than a complementary notification screen latched on to a user’s arm. A constant stream of press release make their way to media outlets daily with a steady dose of the buzzwords du jour such as “apps,” “connected,” and -my favorite- “future” all with the promise of a product that will make life easier and better. Right now there aren’t enough compelling features to justify the addition of yet another redundant gadgets in our ever growing arsenal.
-Small screen: yeah I get it. It’s a watch meant to be worn on the wrist but early stage user interface is going to be archaic.
-Redundant: It attempts to mirror the already existing functions of your smartphone.
-Complementary: Many functions can’t be accomplished independently from said smartphone.
-Expensive: Anywhere between $89 and $459 with most, except one, $125 or more.
This is only the beginning
Sure there are flaws but hey these devices are meant for early adopters. Let manufacturers tinker and process feedback for a few months. Down the line these devices will actually serve a functional purpose and in turn be a condonable purchase.
The growth possibilities are palpable. Clunky touch interface will shift more toward voice input to counteract the “small screen” fail. Device will fully mirror the smartphone instead of acting as a complimentary remote control. Prices will fall.
The battle is already half won. Although on paper these devices sound like nothing more than a wrist-strapped-iPod-nano-notification-screen-remotes, the video demos are inspiring and convincing (especially for sporty outdoor activities). Design options are across the board from futuristic minimalism to old school craftsmanship. The idea’s already cool. As soon as the fashion, functionality and price aspects are a bit more mature we will have another dumb smart product making it easier to ignore the people around us.